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The Dream Betrayed Me

Fall Grants 2023 - Production Stage

Mohammad Alchikho "Shaikhow" / Feature Narrative / Syria, France, Belgium, Germany, Qatar / 90 min / Original Language: Arabic, Kurdish / Interests: Drama


Qamichli, Syria, 2004. Mesto, a 17-year-old boy, has but one dream—to join his city’s football club. Despite his talent, he is turned down because, as a Kurd, he doesn’t have Syrian papers. During a match against the neighbouring city, the club’s coach calls on him to replace a wounded player. Ten minutes into the game, Mesto scores an unexpected goal, but his moment of glory is ruined when the stands start to riot, leaving several dead. The incident escalates quickly into a full-scale uprising demanding more rights for the Kurds. Reluctantly, Mesto is going to become a symbol for the Kurdish rebels against the Syrian regime.


Mohammad Alchikho ("Shaikhow")
Mohammad Alchikho ("Shaikhow"), Ephrem Koering
Camille Laemlé
Production Company
Les Films d'Ici

About the Director

Born in 1988 in Qamishli, Syria, Mohammad Shaikhow is a writer-director and cinematographer based in Paris. He graduated from the ENSAV - National Film School (École Nationale Supérieure d’Audiovisuel) in 2017. His short film, 'Hevi', premiered at the 29th edition of the Carthage Film Festival and has been selected for the Tampere Film Festival 2020, winning several awards. 'Hawar, Our Banished Children', an 80-minute documentary film set for release in 2023, marks Shaikhow as co-author and director of photography. The film, having its World Premiere at the Visions du Réel 2023 in competition, is co-produced by Iota Production and Louise Productions Lausanne with support from RTBF, OFC Suisse, Eurimages, and TV5 Monde. Since 2010, Shaikhow has worked as a cinematographer for film and television, including for ARTE, and several 26-minute reports in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan.


  • Main Contact

    Camille Laemlé

    Les Films d'Ici

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